Whether you like a basic cup of coffee, something a little fancier, like a latte or cappuccino, or go all in for the latest drink crazes (unicorn frappucinos or turmeric lattes), coffee seems to power a significant portion of the United States. Indeed, the coffee market in the United States has a retail value of almost $50 billion dollars and specialty coffees make up over half of it in value share. In 2013, we imported almost 28 million bags of coffee — one-quarter of global coffee imports. On average, Americans drink almost two cups of coffee a day, per recent statistics. So if you run an eating establishment, it might just be in your best interest to look into stocking coffee, paper to go coffee cups, stirrers, sugar, and all the other accouterments that make coffee lovers happy.
What Do I Need to Know About Coffee?
There are two main kinds of coffee, Arabica and Robusta. For the most part, we use Arabica bean coffee. If you’re going to start selling coffee, you’ll have to decide what sizes you want to sell it in (the average size is nine ounces, and 32 ounces seems to be the largest size). It’s good to have a variety.
You’ll also likely want to keep in mind what hours are most popular for coffee drinkers. Around 65% of all coffee is drunk during the morning, breakfast hours, 30% of it is consumed between meals (and often in the afternoon), and the remaining 5% is drunk with other meals.
Also consider if you want to sell just drip coffee, or if you want to add espresso drinks as well (such as lattes, cappuccinos, Americanos, etc.). While you might spend a bit on an espresso machine, you’ll be able to offer your customers a wider variety of coffee drinks as well and it could recoup itself in price.
What Should I Have on Hand At My Coffee Station?
Self-serve drip coffee can be an easy, convenient way to bump sales up a bit. Brew coffee in the back and store it in carafes out front. You’ll want to look into paper to go coffee cups, stir sticks, sugar, creamers (or milk), among other items. The majority (65%) of coffee drinkers prefer to add sugar and/or cream to their coffee, while only 35% will just drink coffee straight. And, given that lactose-intolerance and veganism is on the rise, it might be a smart idea to have one non-milk based alternative, such as soy milk on hand, to accommodate all your customers.
If you want to make life easier for yourself as well — and are pressed for space — you can provide a single serve coffee machine and coffee pods, though this can be a bit more of an expensive option. It’ll be hot and fresh whenever a customer makes it. This is an especially good option for waiting areas, for example.
Why Will Having a Coffee Station Benefit My Business?
Coffee is a relatively inexpensive (and easy) way to bump your sales up a little, even if you’re not doing coffee with all the frills (such as latte art). Many people simply want a good cup of coffee at an affordable price, which you can easily provide to them. If they know you’re right around the corner, they may start stopping by for their morning or afternoon coffee fix, providing you with more revenue than before.
Additionally, providing coffee (along with all the with-its, like paper to go coffee cups, milk, sugar, etc.,) is a great way to show that you care, if you’re not an eating establishment. Almost everyone will enjoy picking up a cup of coffee in responsible paper to go coffee cups.
Either way, having coffee on the premises of your building is a win-win situation. It can provide an extra source of revenue, attract more people to your business, or make them feel taken care when they enter your business.